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The Anarchy Factor in Syria

TEL AVIV – The failure of the Obama administration, its Western allies, and several Middle East regional powers to take bolder action to stop the carnage in Syria is often explained by their fear of anarchy. Given the Syrian opposition’s manifest ineffectiveness and disunity, so the argument goes, President Bashar al-Assad’s fall, when it finally comes, will incite civil war, massacres, and chaos, which is likely to spill over Syria’s borders, further destabilizing weak neighbors like Iraq and Lebanon, and leading, perhaps, to a regional crisis.

What is actually happening in Syria refutes this argument. In fact, the lingering crisis is corroding the fabric of Syrian society and government. Anarchy is setting in now: it is preceding – and precipitating – the regime’s eventual fall.